10 reasons for families to visit our wetland centres this half term

With half term around the corner, we know finding new and exciting things to do can be challenging, especially when the weather isn’t always on side. This year we’ve all enjoyed finding hidden gems on our doorstep and visiting new places on staycations – with many discovering the beauty of wetlands at our wetland sites around the UK. Whether you’re new to visiting our centres or seasoned members, here’s our run down of the ‘Top 10’ reasons to bring the whole family to visit our wetland centres this half term.

1. Autumn adventure awaits

Our sites change so much through the seasons, offering new things to discover on every visit. Many of us enjoy the changing colours as the leaves turn, but visiting wetlands during autumn offers so much more. Come rain or shine, our wetland sites are uplifting places to visit this time of year as they come to life with migratory birds. To help you unlock the secrets of the season at Slimbridge Wetland Centre you can download the family-friendly app 'Wetland Heroes'. The app gives you an opportunity to take on a different challenge each time you visit.

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2. A surprise for the senses

Getting back to nature has helped so many of us during the last year. Autumn at our wetland centres is a great time to not only see nature at its best but explore the abundance of different textures, smells and sounds this season has to offer. Try this out with our senses scavenger hunt during a half term visit to our wetland centres for added fun for all the family and a way to release your inner child. Closing your eyes for just a moment can also heighten our other senses. Discover different bird calls and listen closely for the sound of bird’s wings as they fly overhead.

3. Discover what lurks beneath

If you’re looking for some Halloween fun with a difference try our new What Lurks Beneath trail to see what surprises you will uncover. If you enjoyed our senses scavenger hunt you’ll love exploring the weird and wonderful mysteries of wetland nature on this interactive trail, running at some of our wetland centres across the UK. Pick up your free What Lurks Beneath trail card and set off into the wild to find the feathered and furred, the slimy and scaly! Don’t forget to share your discoveries on social media using #WWTWhatLurksBeneath.

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4. Redeem a £25 voucher off your next visit

School holidays can be expensive. To help offer a great value day out we’ve joined nationwide National Lottery Days Out campaign with VisitBritain so you can claim a £25 voucher on standard admission to any of our nine wetland centres across the UK this autumn. If you play the National Lottery and purchase a Lotto ticket this October, you’ll be able to redeem the £25 voucher through the VisitBritain shop.

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5. Wonderful water

There’s no doubt about it, whatever the weather, any time of year, there’s something special about being by water, with its power to inspire and calm us. Exploring the huge array of different wetland habitats at our wetland centres is a great way to enjoy the wonder of wetlands. Water enhances the beauty of autumn reflecting the vibrant colours, constantly changing with the weather. And with the great British weather always a factor when planning a family day out, where better to enjoy the rain than wetlands? Grab your wellies and waterproofs and enjoy a wild walk, splashing around in puddles.

6. Explore after dark

October half term is a great time to explore outdoors after-dark and where better to do this than at London Wetland Centre as you explore ILLUMINATURE! A new illuminated trail where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover unmissable larger-than-life illuminations of wetland wildlife. Dance under rainfall lights, skip along with fireflies, play in the blue waters of an immersive light tunnel, hop along responsive lily pads, create colourful shadow animals, and have plenty of photo opportunities along the way. It’s sure to be a hit with everyone. The trail runs until 9 January 2022.

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7. Discover the wonder of wetlands on our watery trails

October half term is the last chance this year to grab a paddle and set off on a wetland adventure on our canoe safari at Martin Mere and Slimbridge Wetland Centre. What awesome autumn wildlife will you spot as you twist and turn around our wetlands? Or why not head out on a guided boat tour at Arundel Wetland Centre to discover more about our wonderful wetland habitats and the wildlife that call them home.

8. Surprising wetland superstars

As well as the thousands of birds, swans and geese that arrive to winter or stopover in autumn, there’s always a star species on show with exciting animals from around the world at many of wetland centres. Flamboyant flamingos bring a flash of pink to an autumnal landscape at our wetland centres in Llanelli, Slimbridge, Washington and Martin Mere. Our playful otters are also a firm favourite with families who visit London Wetland Centre. You can discover more about our resident otters at our wetland centres in Slimbridge, Washington and Martin Mere with many centres running daily programmes of tours, talks and feeds.

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9. Feeding Frenzy

There’s nothing quite like getting up-close to wetland wildlife and experiencing our friendly ducks and geese tickle your palm in their quest for food. Many of our wetland centres offering opportunities for you to hand-feed some of the most endangered ducks and rarest geese on the planet. If you’re inspired after your visit and want to attract feathered friends to your own garden why not have a go at making your own garden bird feeder. You can even learn more about your visitors with our common garden birds guide.

10. Everything you need for a great day out

As well as the fun stuff, we know there are some practical things that are really important when planning a day out. Our wetland centres are designed to give you an unforgettable experience getting close to nature and it’s important to us that our wetlands and wildlife are accessible, so everyone can have a great day.

Think wide paths that are buggy and wheelchair friendly, clean and safe open spaces and family-friendly wildlife hides – plus cosy visitor centres for when the weather inevitable takes a turn for the worse. Add to that free parking for visitors and wild outdoor play areas and you’ve got everything you need.

You can also fuel your wetland adventure at our welcoming restaurants and cafés. And why not stop off at our shops to pick up a gorgeous gift or unique souvenir of your day, with the added bonus of knowing when you shop with us, you are helping create a world where healthy wetland nature thrives and enriches lives.